Keeping celery fresh might pose a bit of a challenge as it is a root vegetable with high water content, so you need to opt for storage methods that stop the water from evaporating.
When the water content of the cells inside celery diminishes, they collapse, and the celery stalks become limp and rubbery. But does celery need to be refrigerated?
Yes, you can store celery in the fridge! Storing your celery stalks in the refrigerator can keep the vegetable fresh for 2 to 3 months.
But celery mustn’t be refrigerated as there are a handful of other ways to keep celery fresh without refrigeration, depending on the state of the veggies.
Here are different ways you can store celery to keep it fresh for a long time!
How To Store Celery To Keep It Fresh For Long
1. Storing Celery In Water
Storing celery in water is one of the easiest preservation methods you can use to keep your vegetable fresh for a couple of days.
You will need a large glass bowl or a sealed plastic container, fill the bowl with clean water, and prep your celery.
Dismantle the celery and remove the stalks from the base of the celery; this will keep the celery fresh.
Next, use a kitchen knife to gently strip the leaves off the celery stalks before cutting the stalks in half. They should be about half as long as they were on the base.
Place the cut celery into the glass bowl or the plastic container leaving about an inch of expansion space between the celery and the bowl’s top.
Top the bowl with enough fresh and clean water till your container is filled. Seal the bowl or container securely and place it in a cool area. Remember to change the water every day or at least every other day. This helps to maintain the freshness of the celery.
To use celery stored with this method, you only need to remove it from the water, rinse, and eat.
2. Wrap The Celery
Wrap your celery securely in aluminum foil, and this will keep the vegetable crisp, even for weeks. You may need to place the celery on a slightly damp paper towel before wrapping it up with foil.
This is the reason plastic bags are not recommended for this purpose as they trap the ethylene gas, which causes the celery to rot. Place the tightly wrapped celery in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
If you don’t have aluminum foil handy, you can wrap the celery only in paper towels. Remove the base of the celery bunch and separate all the celery stalks. You can decide to cut them in half, but it’s not necessary.
Read Also: Can You Freeze Celery For Smoothies?
Ensure the paper towels are dampened as moisture is needed to keep the vegetable fresh. Transfer the wrapped celery into a large plastic zip-lock bag, secure tightly and place in the refrigerator
You do not need to toss out the scrapes cut out from the celery as you prepped the vegetable for storage; you can freeze them in a ziplock bag and use them to make stock.
3. Freeze The Celery
Before you place your celery in the freezer, blanch the vegetable by plunging it into boiling water for three minutes.
Then, remove and place the celery immediately into a bowl of ice-cold water. Your celery should be properly blanched and drain off excess water. You can then transfer the celery into a freezer bag or an airtight container before placing it in the freezer.
Please note that freezing does not necessarily keep the celery fresh; it only helps to prevent spoiling or wilting.
To store celery in the fridge, start by taking it from its store packaging, then give it a good rinse to remove any dirt embedded in the stalks; you also need to chop off the celery’s base.
Before freezing celery, it is recommended that you chop the celery stalks into pieces that are about 1 to 1 ½ inches long and remove the leaves.
Read Also: Can You Freeze Celery and Onions?
Conclusion | Does Celery Need To Be Refrigerated?
As you can see, storing celery is simple, whether in the fridge, water, or any other way. You could also pre-freeze the celery by placing the stalk pieces spread out on a cookie sheet then, transfer the sheet into the freezer.
Once frozen, remove the celery pieces and transfer them into a freezer bag and place them back into the freezer.
Remember to consume all frozen celery within a year of storage.